ParkerVision 2005 PA Announcement
January 20, 2005
Jeff Parker, CEO ParkerVision
John Bucher of Harris Nesbit
Will Lewis of Baystar Capital
Joseph of Lehman Brothers
Bob Malarnick [sp] of Arbor Capital Management
Amir Ecker from ACT Capital
Peter Conrad, of Kopp Investment Advisors
Barry Rugger of ETE
George Walker of Wachovia Securities
Ann Marie: Good day ladies and
gentlemen and welcome to the new power amplifier conference call. My name is
Ann Marie and I'll be your coordinator for today. At this time all participants
are in listen only mode. We will be facilitating a question and answer session
towards the end of this conference. If at any time during the call you require
assistance please press *0 and a coordinator will be happy to assist you.
Before we get started I want to remind listeners that this conference call will contain forward looking statements which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties about our business and the economy and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from our expected achievements and anticipated results. Included in these risks are factors such as the ability to maintain technological advances in the marketplace, ability to sufficiently increase manufacturing capacity to meet demand, achieving timely market introduction and acceptance of our products, maintainig our patent protection and availability of capital, among others.
Given these uncertainties and other various factors about our business, listeners are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any of the forward looking statements contained in this conference call. Additional information concerning this and other risks can be found in our filing with the SEC. And now I'd like to turn the presentation over to your host, Mr. Jeff Parker, CEO of ParkerVision. Please proceed, sir.
Jeff Parker: Thank you. So, good
afternoon and thank you for joining us on this ParkerVision conference call.
It's with a great deal of pleasure that I'm able to share with you the latest
developments coming from ParkerVision in both technology advancement and
resulting product. Our direct to data psychology really represents our
expertise in converting older and more inefficient analog circuits into high
performance digital circuit architectures. Our digital architectures don't
carry with them the same inherent limitations that our analog predecessors were
limited by. And so today we introduce ParkerVision's first product line of RF
power amplifiers. By extending the science of our d2d technology into power
amplifiers, we've been able to transform RF power and amplifiers from analog
circuits and eliminate many of those inherent limitations of today's products
and pave the way for a multitude of advances not only in the power amplifier
itself but also in the products that rely upon these amplifiers.
ParkerVision is redefining the performance that will now be expected for these kinds of applications. In brief, the power amplifier is one of the critical components to many of the wireless RF products. Cell phones, WiFi, cordless phones, voice over IP phones and many other products all rely on RF power amplifiers. This is the component along with the transmitter that sends the RF signal off the antenna and is responsible for a major portion of the power consumed in many products. However, due to the older analog circuit it is not uncommon at all that the efficiency of the transmitter and the power amplifier are relatively low. Let me give you an example. The efficiency of the transmitter and the power amplifier in a WiFi product that's using 802.11G runs at about the five percent range. For 802.11V the efficiency of the transmitter and the power amplifier run in the 8‑9 percent range. So in the G products that have five percent efficiencies this means that 95 percent of all the power it takes to run those circuits goes up in heat, does not come out of the antenna in any useful purpose. Similar kinds of efficiencies are found in products that require complex signals to move large amounts of data or provide services such as what is being deployed in 3G cell phone networks that use CDMA or wide band CDMA. The results of incorporating our product is the reduction by 50 to 80 percent of the overall power consumption typically used in many of these products. The benefit that this brings to manufacturers is really multidimensional.
If you're a designer wanting to reduce the cost and size of your cell phone handset, we have a solution for you because you can shrink the size of the single most expensive component in many handsets‑‑the battery. If you're a designer wanting to maintain your battery size and increase the talk time we have solutions for you. With many of the 3G cell phone networks one of the challenges is that consumers are having to take a step back in performance in terms of talk time. Maybe your 2G cell phone has five or six hours of talk time, but now your 3G phone only provides an hour or two. We can show designers how to get their talk times right back to what consumers are looking for or even beyond.
If you're looking to design the next generation of WiFi products and you want to increase business but not power consumption we have the solution. If you're looking to extend battery life for WiFi because you're using this in the PDA or a smart phone we have that solution as well.
Maybe you're trying to move video and audio around the house and you need a reliable operation that's been elusive. We can show you how our power amplifiers can help make that a reality. If you want to incorporate your own RS transceivers that's fine. If you want the world's best range along with the best reliability from noise and interference you might want to incorporate our d2d transceivers as well.
Cordless phones that allow you to walk around the block and sound as if you're next to the base station are enabled by our power amplifiers.
Needless to say, these products and the underlying technology provide a number of options to product designers that they have not had before. In addition to being feature rich our power amps will be very cost effective. We will deliver these chips at prices that match the inferior products they replace. Of course, if you want to strictly save cost we can provide power amplifiers that match today's analog amplifiers in performance and deliver those at lower cost than what power amplifier companies are selling the analog power amplifiers for today.
These savings don't even take into account what our VPA family of power amplifiers will provide, which is a true breakthrough in that it is the total elimination of the traditional transmitter hardware. This provides opportunity for even more cost and size reduction.
We will be expanding our conversations with OEMs and ODMs immediately, both those we're already in dialog with about our existing products, and now of course, the much larger universe of customers who design and build the volumes of wireless products today.
So we thought you might have a few questions from today's announcement and so to provide you with feedback as timely as possible we scheduled this conference call to address your questions as quickly as we can. And so with that I'd really like to open up this call for your questions. So can we do that please.
Ann Marie: If any of you wish to ask a
question please press "*1" on your touch tone phone. If your question
has been answered or you wish to withdraw your question, please press
"*2". Again, to ask a question, the command is "*1", and
we'll pause for a moment as questions queue up.
Again, that is "*1" for questions and your first question comes from John Bucher of Harris Nesbit. Please proceed.
John Bucher: John Bucher with Harris Nesbit. Good afternoon. Question. What do you view as the first initial application area? Will it be wireless land devices or wireless wide area or cellular devices? And then any particular radio technology that you think will be your initial focus? And then finally, can you give us an idea on availability for these as well?
Jeff Parker: Sure. Our first models out
are focusing heavily on the more complex wave forms. The more complicated the
wave form for the radio and the more challenging the application the more
difficult the power amplifier is because the linearity requirement. So our
initial focus is really going to be on 802.11 G and N and B and also for CDMA
cell phones and wide band CDMA cell phones.
The timing on all that is we will have samples for those applications that OEMs and ODMs can go run their own testing a little later in the second quarter. From there what we're hoping to do is to get feedback to be able to provide the final form factors that they want in terms of packaging and possible other features that they may want us to incorporate later this year.
John Bucher: Quick follow up, do you already have your license chips in place, on the supply chain side?
Jeff Parker: We do, it is pretty publicly known that we have a good relationship with Texas Instruments, but we've also been in dialogue with additional suppliers and I would expect that you'll hear more about that in the first half of this year.
John Bucher: Thank you very much.
Jeff Parker: Thank you.
Ann Marie: And your next question comes from Will Lewis of Baystar Capital. Please proceed.
Will Lewis: Congratulations on this announcement, Jeff, and everyone at ParkerVision. My question relates to how you intend to pursue this product versus your strategy for the transceiver. This product is obviously more of a component sale of teams. On the transceiver side you went with really vertical integration. Going forward, how do you see yourself positioning the company, is it more of a component provider, is it more of a vertically integrated manufacturer? Can you comment on that? And I have one quick follow up.
Jeff Parker: OK, sure. We will be
aggressively pursuing component sales directly with OEMS and ODMS. We are
organizing a separate sales organization, which we already know the beginnings
of, who will be taking charge to work directly with field application engineers
to assist these OEMS and ODMs through the process of designing the chips. The
nice aspect of these particular components is that they are much less
dimensional in terms of the testing requirements and the time to test, and the
time to make the best one, then our transceiver, being a really complete and
whole system, the power amplifier being just an individual component.
To give you a sense of the scale; to test the transceiver in an application could take a small team of engineers a week, even several months to understand all the different dynamics that happened with the transceiver over various operating conditions, to provide a conclusion. In the power amplifier component, you can get through the line and shear of a visual assessment in just a few hours.
So, the job of our sales organization is to get the power amplifier demonstration units and test boards into the hands of all the important decision makers in these companies that are designing handsets for cell phones, cordless phones, WiFi products, Voice‑Over‑IP phones, etc, to find out what flavor they want them in, and what features they might want us to incorporate that we haven't already thought of. That tells you our focus.
We will also consume these power amplifiers ourselves in our own products. We are coming out with a cordless phone shortly, we want to additionally start out with our own power amplifier, and we're very excited to design an iteration of that later this year with the power amplifier, because it will extend the talk time dramatically, and it will extend the range even further than we have already designed, and it will make a more elegant solution. So, every time we find an opportunities to showcase in whatever finished goods we are in the process of designing our own components, we will do that.
There's also an in‑between place where we're in dialogue with actually a number of companies right now who have either tested our existing WiFi products, are looking at the cordless phone that's in development, and they're saying, "Hey, can we buy modules, or cards out of those products to incorporate with our own products?" and we will be aggressively pursuing that as well. So, we want to become a real solutions provider up and down the food chain, wherever we can find that we bring value. Our focus though, will be on high‑volume applications. We won't be targeting niche low volume applications. This is a semiconductor technology, and we will thrive on high volume designs, and that's what we'll be going for.
Will Lewis: OK, that's very helpful, and then just a follow up. Do you anticipate additional capital needs in order to pursue this new product strategy?
Jeff Parker: Possibly. We're always looking at that. We've been encouraged by some of our suppliers who provide components to us for products today, that are willing to start extending very favorable terms, and all sorts of programs to help us as we grow our inventory bills and such to help delay, or accrue cash flow requirements, but we are expanding with this product line into additional needs, and so we may very well look at some additional capital for the company, to make sure that we can properly fund and support all the growth activities, that I think is imminent.
Will Lewis: Thanks very much.
Jeff Parker: Thank you.
Ann Marie: Your next question comes from John Stanley, a Stanley Merchant partner, please proceed.
John Stanley: Jeff, can you please expand a little bit on what sort of efficiencies is the afford in terms of cost to potential customers?
Jeff Parker: Sure, John, in the cost side,
it really is dependent on what they want to make the technology focus on, and
I'll give you an example. If you are a handset designer, and we're talking a
fairly standard handset, maybe not a smart‑phone with a PDA built in, but
we'll just say a basic cell phone. One of, or maybe the single most expensive
component of that entire handset is the battery. So, one of the things that
you're looking to do is take off with that product, because that market space
continues to get more competitive, and manufacturers are looking to expand
their reach to be able to also offer these products to a wider audience.
So, you're charged with, as a designer, to get more cost out of the product, and you can't violate the laws of physics, so if your power amplifier is only....if your whole transmitter chain is only five, or ten, or fifteen percent efficient, you need a certain type of battery. So what ParkerVision does in that situation is we say, "Hey, how would you like to cut your battery requirements in half, or in some cases, even more, and yet keep the same profit?" the battery technologies are priced by the OEM provided in terms of the power, and for us to be able to say, "Hey you can cut that OEM power down to 50 percent, 60 percent" comes right out of their building materials. When they take the transmitter out of their products, if they decide to go with our VPA product, we can show them how to literally take the entire transmit chain and again present with a product, but some of these products are not a simple affair.
That entire chain of parts, and the board and circuitry just goes away. What they do is they take the digital base band signal to come out of their processor, which would normally go to a transmit chain of parts, and ultimately handed off to the power amplifier. That all goes away, it goes right from the digital output of the processor right to our VPA, and that VPA is truly revolutionary, because it will single step a single electrical operation, turn the received signal into an on‑channel, amplified RF carrier, and sends it to the antenna, and there's more cost‑savings in terms of components, and depending on the cell phone itself. If we're talking about a more complex phone like a wide‑band PDMA 3G fold‑over in Europe or in
I'll give you another example. We just did a little benchmarking for WiFi. We had a OEM send us a laptop with their embedded WiFi solution, just to see if we used our own mini‑PCI card, our d2p card. this is with our power amplifier; this was with additional power amplifier. What would happen to the battery life? What happened to the distance?
When we plugged our card into their standard set of antennas in the lid and we got our mile of performance, that we talk about all the time, against the thousand feet of takeout the latest and greatest embedded solutions. And what was very interesting was the difference in battery life. This is now just using the d2p and I'll extend it a little further. So, without a WiFi system at all running in this laptop, the battery lasted three hours and five minutes. With the embedded solution that currently is provided in that laptop the battery life was reduced by 47 minutes. With our [inaudible] d2p technology it is reduced by 23 minutes, and with our power amplifier in there we calculate it will only be reduced by 11 minutes. So we are trying to give you a sense of scale. Those are the kind of gains that people will be able to achieve.
On WiFi, one last comment, we will be able to show people how they can go in another direction with the technology also. Where they can say, I want to get more distance and I'm OK with the battery life the way it is. If you want to go to that metric, we'll be able to show people how they can increase their distance two times, four times, or more, by the power amplifiers output that it can deliver. In today's analog amplifiers they can't even go there. That is because they consume so much power that there is not enough power available in the laptop to power such a thing. So it's not even an option they can consider.
I don't know if that answers your question entirely, but it is so different for each one. But you will see a series of application examples coming out from us over the coming weeks.
John Stanley: OK. And then lastly, Jeff, silicon has been used in low‑end applications, gallium‑arsenide in high end. How are you able to do this with silicon?
Jeff Parker: Well, we can't just yet
disclose exactly what the digital architecture is. The patents are still
pending. We'll issue eventually and publish as well. But let me say this: what
you look for in a power amplifier, especially one for these complex applications
like 511G and N, which use OFDM or CDMA, you look for very, very high degrees
of linearity. If you look at a d2p transceiver and you say, what are d2p's
greatest attributes? It's extremely high degrees of linearity. By the way, we
get out of drifting mode today in our receivers. So if you just started with a
d2p science as a very highly linear, how do you take digital circuits and get
very highly linear results, using silicon? You say, boy if I could apply that
concept to the power amplifier world, where I could get very high degrees of
linearity, then CMOS and [inaudible] now become reality.
In essence, yes, if you take circuit architectures, especially the old analog ones, which are not as linear as people would like, and then you start throwing the inefficiencies of CMOS and [inaudible] you are not going to get out of there with the results you are looking for. So we really are starting from a whole different architectural place.
John Stanley: OK, thank you, Jeff. Congratulations.
Jeff Parker: Thanks.
Ann Marie: We now have questions coming from Joseph Graves of Lehman Brothers. Please proceed.
Joe Graves: Hey, Jeff, it's Joe.
Jeff Parker: Hey Joe.
Joe Graves: Some terrific news here today. A lot of the initial questions I had were already asked, but a rather direct question would be: Who will be responsible initially in the sales effort for this particular product?
Jeff Parker: We've actually already been
interviewing and have some great candidates that are imminent to come to the
company who have a lot of experience in careers of selling components like this
to OEMs and ODMs all over the world. And as we've gotten closer to this
announcement, we've been able to share with some of these candidates what we're
coming out with and their enthusiasm is extremely high. So I don't think we're
going to have any problems at all bringing to the company the kind of quality
people that we need and want who have the kind of experience working with these
kinds of accounts that we want to go after and I would even say that we will
have the first ones on board before the end of the second week of February,
possibly before the end of the first week of February. So we're moving right
along on that.
We're already in dialogue with a number of OEMs and ODMs who have started talking to us about things we've started doing in WiFi and cordless phones and have been asking about our transceivers so I think our timing is excellent. And it takes those conversations and some more fuel on the fire. There will be a completely separate selling organization and support organization to the sales force to do the chips and components that as you know the management is a whole different thing and I think it's a wonderful leverage point for the whole company because the way this will be organized is we'll have key account managers who will be supported by some in‑house application engineers but there's also worldwide rep organizations who live in these OEMs and ODMs several of whom we've already been in contact with and talking to who would love the opportunity to support us in our efforts to work with the designers in Asia and Europe and all across the US and we will be in those additional accounts starting literally in the next few weeks and pushing forward as fast as we can.
Joe Graves: Fair enough, I guess the following to that would be additionally speaking to these particular customers, what kind of kickback have you received, given the disruptive nature of this technology it kind of goes against the grain of industry wide standards to me, my wife and I, a lot of the things you've developed is just terrific, but the sheer performance characteristics doesn't it scare people? This news story shocks me I haven't seen something this interesting in long time how do you prove out these concepts other than...
Jeff Parker: Joe, I think what I'm excited
about with this particular product line is it is orders of magnitude simpler
conversation than what we've been talking to these companies about with
transceivers. When we talk about transceivers there's so many dimensions in
production and ifs ands or buts that it really takes designers a lot of time to
sort through the questions and figure out can they embrace what we've developed
and get out of it what we claim we can get out of it, which is why we just went
ahead and just said put the products together and go from there. With a power
amplifier, you really are down to a single component dimension. They put
something in and out the other end comes and amplified signal or it doesn't.
They have a handful of metrics that they're interested in knowing that
determine whether you've distorted that signal or not and that's it. And
literally people will be able to test in a few hours whether we say does or
So I believe and I think a number of sales people we're interviewing now and I think a few of them will come on shortly seem to verify in their own minds that this is definitely orders of magnitude simpler sales. I personally think that the power amplifier we'll look back on in a year and say that was the ultimate Trojan Horse for ParkerVision and these companies will start saying "hey you know I really like these power amplifiers, tell me more about your transceivers" and in that case by the way, they may not even be talking about transceivers they may be thinking "more about your receivers" because we'll have eliminated the transmitter. So I'm very optimistic.
And I think that what you see in the power amplifier program, frankly, is a result of what we've learned over the last 18 to 24 months. This was no accident. We went out there and we learned some things about the market and we said, "OK, we understand the lay of the land. What can we bring to these companies that they will be able to embrace us much quicker and really want to take our technology in?" All those things converge in this power amplifier.
Joe Graves: That somewhat answers it for now. It's exciting news, and in a sense does seem to be a substantial Trojan Horse for this company. Congratulations.
Jeff Parker: Thank you.
Ann Marie: Your next question comes from Bob Malarnick of Arbor Capital Management. Please proceed.
Bob Mlarnick: Hi, Jeff.
Jeff Parker: Hi, Bob.
Bob Mlarnick: Hats off to you and
congratulations to the boys over at
Jeff Parker: Thank you. They have been
working their tailbone off. You've met many of them so you know Dave Sorrells,
our CTO. One of his comments that I love is how you can't predict a
breakthrough at three in the morning on a Thursday; it happens when it occurs.
But these guys have just worked without ever doubting that they could do this. And their reduction of the d2d down to the electronics now is trying to help us move faster and faster as a company. David Sorrells, our CTO, and Greg Rawlins, our chief staff scientist, are leading this and they're doing a marvelous job.
Bob Mlarnick: I couldn't agree more. A couple of questions. You mentioned in your press release the amount of configuration and customization that a potential OEM or ODM would have to do to this product to utilize it. I'm just kind of curious in what that might entail, because that certainly affects time‑to‑market and time‑to‑revenue for yourself. An ability to take sockets away from encumbrance there and to include software/firmware requirements, it changes.
Jeff Parker: Right. Well this is the
reason we've come out with two families. The DPA family, the Digital Power Amp
family, is designed to be a drop‑in replacement. And I hesitate a little
bit to say "Plug and Play" Bob. I don't know if that's an appropriate
term when you're talking about chaining up electronic components. But it's
going to be close to it and we may be able to get right to that. It's literally
you take the RF signal in, that you currently put into your existing power amp,
and out the other end comes amplified RF.
And the reason we made this announcement today is we want to get out to these OEMs immediately and say, "Hey, for your next generation are you guys putting in the 16‑pin package, or some other pin package? How do you want to see this package? What feature is there that we may have missed?"
But, I mean, we have scoured many of the products that we want to be in and there's kind of a common thread of what these companies are using today. So our DPAs are targeting to replace those existing power amplifiers, which today are typically modules, and to do it in way that it has the same benefits.
The reason power amplifiers have gone to modules is that the companies who produce these are trying to make these kind of designer‑friendly in that you don't have to do a lot of matching components for the input and the output, etc. We do exactly the same thing. So as long as we have the features that match the other features that we're replacing and the same pin‑outs and the same package, they should be a drop‑in replacement.
Now, the VPA to me is a little longer term for the company that says, "Hey, I love everything you're saying. By the way, if you can really get rid of that transmit chain, I want it out of there." And we can show them how they can use their existing baseband processor to do that.
And I would expect that what you will see also from ParkerVision in the coming months will be more information on other baseband companies that we're working with who will embrace the interface between their processor and our VPA. Because when they do that, they will make the job of dropping this into products seem really a no‑brainer.
In fact, it will be easier to apply than the RF input today that they put into power amplifiers. There won't be an RF input; it's gone. So the job of having to worry about running these RF signals around the circuit board on the input side literally goes away. And people will love designing with that.
Bob Mlarnick: So the initial product introductions and usage by OEMs and ODMs probably will occur in the DPA family line first?
Jeff Parker: I would imagine.
Bob Mlarnick: All right. Next question‑‑your initial forays into 3‑gigahertz RF signals or below. You intimated in your press release that it might be expandable up to 6‑gigahertz frequencies. So you hit the 5.8 type of transmit limitations. So I guess my question is how do you know you can do that, and what is the power efficiency and linearity characteristics as you go up in frequency.
Jeff Parker: Yeah. The beauty of the architecture is because it's all digital, our ability to predict, again, various processes is very high. So right now the power amps that we're coming out with are on a process that we are extremely comfortable, confident and very familiar with. We know exactly how to push and pull that semiconductor process around. We've been using it for a while.
Bob Mlarnick: That's the TI?
Jeff Parker: Right. There are other
processes now that are being made available to the company, both within and
outside of TI. And I'm not at liberty to really share who those other companies
are, but I'm very encouraged. And we've already gotten the design parameters with
these other processes.
And when we look at putting the technologies into these other processes, moving up to 6‑gigahertz is no stretch at all. In fact, we'll probably go higher. I put in the press release up to 6‑gigahertz, but really what we're going to target is going to be the 5.2 and 5.8 gigahertz unlicensed bands, which is where really the volume of the business will be.
Bob Mlarnick: Because traditionally at these higher frequencies GaAs chips are the ones with the superior power efficiency over silicon, and reduced noise characteristics, etc.
Jeff Parker: Listen, you know, it's funny. Some years ago a few big semiconductor companies predicted that CMOS and SiGe would someday rival GaAs for RF power amplifiers, and they were right. So, you know, their timing might have been a little wrong but some of them that we've talked to have said to us, "Boy, this is really heartening, because some of our predictions are now going to come true."
Bob Mlarnick: My last question, and I'll let others get on, is about the pricing strategy in this new product area. Revenue and profits are of utmost importance to your firm and us as investors and I'd like to hear how you plan to go to market with these new products.
Jeff Parker: The way we want to go to
market, Bob, is to price the... When we look at the cost of producing these
products on these kinds of semiconductors we already start with a really nice
advantage because we're monolithic, we don't have to build modules‑‑substrates
with multiple components and chips which have yield issues, which have lower
volume semiconductor foundations in gallium arsenide and other exotic things
that people are working on. So we start from very good wafer pricing and we
don't have the module packaging to deal with.
So when we look at our cost structure we are comfortably going to be able to go out there and say that we will match the prices of the amplifiers you're buying today and give you a lot more performance. But by the way, if you don't want more performance, if you just want to pay a lower money for a power amplifier, that pulls our power amplifier in a slightly different direction, and we can make it even less expensive and pass those savings right on to the customer. So they can either have a lot more performance for the same money or they can have the same performance for less money, and they can make that choice.
Bob Mlarnick: How do you dumb down the technology then? I guess. Software at a lower cost but at the same performance as the existing solutions.
Jeff Parker: It's all die size and how many dies and yields we get out of these wafers. And if they're not as concerned about high linearity and certain efficiencies that come with that, we can shave down some of the digital architecture and pass those savings right on to them. If they want to have the best that we can give them, hey, then we'll do that and we'll be competitive with what's currently out there today and do it at very good margins for our company.
Bob Mlarnick: Thank you again, Jeff. Best wishes.
Jeff Parker: Thank you so much. Thanks for your support.
Ann Marie: Your next question comes from Amir Ecker from ACT Capital. Please proceed.
Amir Ecker: Jeff, hi. Again, congratulations as well. A lot of my questions have been answered. I guess I'm a touch confused. You said on the cordless phone that you're going to be introducing that it will not incorporate your power amp to begin with.
Jeff Parker: Right.
Amir Ecker: How do you achieve the... Is it the transceiver module then?
Jeff Parker: Yes. Our transceiver, in and
of itself, it's interesting. I was sent by a company that does a lot of
cordless phone designs for worldwide‑known brands who sell cordless
phones. They do a lot of the designs for those companies. And they had heard
we're coming out with a cordless phone, and they said, "Hey, maybe
ParkerVision would like to look at using us as a design house."
And so they sent me a brochure which shared the absolute best dynamic range sensitivity, etc., that the cordless phones that they designed and feel the company achieves today. And we achieved, with our first generation we're coming out with, 21 dB more dynamic range than what they claimed is the best that's out there. That's HUMONGOUS.
Well, we talk about this two‑mile distance. And most of the phones that I go out and pick off the store shelves and benchmark‑‑and I try to benchmark all of them‑‑are about 800 to 1,000, maybe 1,200, feet. You look at a 21 dB dynamic range improvement‑‑you double your outdoor distance about every six dB, so if you just run that map out, starting with 1, 000 feet, you'll come out just under two miles. So, sure enough, it's exactly where it should be.
And that's all just the foundation of our d2d transceiver, which is why I'm very excited to be rolling these programs along a parallel. I think, for ParkerVision, continuing to demonstrate great products that people can pick off the shelf, take home, and go, "Oh! I love this product!" and then, going to the OEMs and saying, "How would you like to incorporate that same goodness, or some piece of it, into your products, and make it easy for people to do this?" I think is a winning combination.
Amir Ecker: Yeah, no doubt. So then, when you do incorporate the power amp in the design, nine months later or whenever, what will be the additional advantage?
Jeff Parker: On the transmit side, we'll
probably pick up another six or seven dB of power, which will give us another
doubling of distance. You might say to me: "Jeff, hey, come on. A couple
miles. Enough is enough."
We don't always necessarily do the best job of communicating the outdoor distance story versus what you're trying to do with an indoor environment product. So, the reason it's always helpful to just have more horsepower in your transceiver, whether it's on the transmit side or better receiver sensitivity, you just never know where consumers are going to take these products.
I've been in homes that I would've loved to have had more transmit power, more receiver sensitivity. They've had rooms that have been added on that used to have outside walls that are inside walls. They've got metal, foil sheathing inside the walls because it was an outside wall, and it's very hard to get through. I mean, all sorts of things you run into.
And so, the promise of wireless, and what consumers expect in wireless is they want to take that product and they want it to work like magic, which is that it works any place they want to use it. So, people ask me, "How much distance is enough?" And the answer is: there's never enough.
Amir Ecker: Never enough. Just going back. The gentleman from Arbor was talking about [inaudible].
Jeff Parker: Yeah.
Amir Ecker: Are there any benefits that can be obtained by using compound silicon?
Jeff Parker: The answer is probably yes, but probably not in the particular product category we're talking about...
Amir Ecker: High volume, where cost is...
Jeff Parker: Right. High volume, where
cost is paramount, where people still want to move the performance advantage
higher, where size is of a concern, where battery life is a concern‑CIGI
and CMOS are absolutely the best solution.
When you're talking about things like infrastructure products, like base stations, where network providers are spending sometimes‑‑I was looking at some statistics recently‑‑$2‑3,000 a month on power, to power these base stations. Would a power‑saving architecture, that obviously could pay for itself in relatively short order, be something interesting to them? Probably. It's just not our focus right now. We just don't have the bandwidth at this moment in time to take a look at that.
But that could be down the road, or it may be a collaborative effort with somebody who reads this press release or hears more things as we talk to other parts of a company that they are part of and they say "hey, let's go explore that together." But the foundation of the technology really is how do you achieve high degrees of linearity in a power amplifier in a digital architecture and there's a lot of work that's been done out there, in doing all sorts of predistortion things where you can predistort the signal etc, putting in DSTs to do that, etc. We eliminate any need for all of that stuff.
Amir Ecker: So are chips in this DTA family‑I don't know what the extent of the product line is and how the family‑what the different specs are for different part members but do you have that today?
Jeff Parker: What we've actually got today is‑‑once we completed the‑‑once we completed our digital transceiver technology which you know is fielded with all the products that we're currently selling, we started taking subsystems‑‑prototype subsystems out of that‑‑and said how can we apply that, start extending our reach with what we can do with RF and once we got those subsystems to combine the way we wanted them to combine and do what we wanted to do and verify the performance we said 'ah, this is exactly what we've been looking for.' And now we committed that to the next level of integration and that's what's going to be coming to customers as samples later in the second quarter.
Amir: So you actually have silicon?
Jeff Parker: We have subsystems.
Amir Ecker: You have like a point circuit board?
Jeff Parker: Yeah, because we don't want to expose‑we don't want to expose the architecture right now but we can sit down with OEMs, ODMs right now and say 'here's the way form in, here's the way form out'. Here's the efficiency, here's the power consumption. We can give them every spec they're looking for.
Amir Ecker: And when do you think you would have‑what's it going to take? Six months before you actually have silicon?
Jeff Parker: No, I think it will be late in the second quarter.
Amir Ecker: Oh, by then?
Jeff Parker: Yep. And that's because we're
so familiar with the process that it's going to run on. I mean we've now run on
research wafers, many many wafer runs on the TI process that we use. We're very
comfortable with it and we know exactly how long it takes to run and come back
and we're pretty confident that by the end of the second quarter people will be
getting samples from us. That's why we're out soliciting this now. I mean if
you kind of look at the way these things work, people start talking about this
thing a year in advance and customers start getting in a dialogue with them.
In our case we wanted to make sure there was no anything, no stone unturned on our ability to deliver on every performance metric that we said we would. I think the company frankly has a very good track record of being able to say "look we predict our technology does X and it does exactly that."
Amir Ecker: So do you anticipate the first real application would be in cell phone or are there other applications that....
Jeff Parker: I'm hoping we find fruit at various levels, right. I think maybe the lower hanging fruit might very well be in the WiFi space where I see in that space designs changing more rapidly. We will probably have even more comprehensive solutions in the WiFi space because of our relationships with some of the base companies and I'd ask you to keep your eyes and ears open for that. So I think some of the lower hanging fruit may very well be how we can help people improve their WiFi products pretty quick and maybe that results in later this year in chip shipment. Hand set design times are longer, the cycles are longer and that's why we need to get in front of those guys right now and I think that's a higher hanging thing but of course the volumes can be enormous.
Amir Ecker: Excellent. That's quite exciting.
Jeff Parker: Thank you very much.
Ann Marie: And your next question comes from Peter Conrad, of KOPP. Please proceed.
Peter Conrad: Hello. Thanks for the question.
Jeff Parker: Sure.
Peter Conrad: I apologize; I had to jump off for a moment, onto another call, so maybe you've answered this. But I just need to better understand; if the big opportunity really is addressing the OEMs and the ODMs with components and modules, why detract from that focus with continuation down the path of creating your own end products and trying to work those channels and create those channels and really proliferate in that fashion?
Jeff Parker: Here, you know, right now,
we've got a momentum there. And, we have the momentum, and, I mean, we have
more retailers now that want to take the products on. And, we're in the middle
of dialogue with quite a few buyers who are interested in, of course, in the
Stone line. New buyers who want to look at putting in the Wi Fi products.
It's actually been extremely encouraging to me to see the credibility of having products on the shelf and consumers ‑ you know, taking them off the shelf every day and, and, and, liking them ‑ what that's brought to us.
So, I think, for the foreseeable future, you know, as long as the company keeps its ‑ you know, we're not trying to, to become, you know, a major, you know, huge line, you know, consumer electronics products company. But, I think we can do very well if we kind of stay in the target niche. And, we continue to, you know, push our advantages forward.
And, I think it leads to dialogue with OEMs and ODMs in a way that has a real position of knowledge. I mean, we really, really understand what consumers are looking for in the next generation of Lifeline products. And, we are, we are really going to learn a lot about what the consumers like in the course, as well.
So, I understand your question and, I think, you know, we'll have to continue to assess that longer term. But, it's brought a tremendous amount of value to, to us.
And, frankly, I think the number of the retailers and the borrowers who are now starting to look at the ‑ picking up our products. When they see announcements like this, you know, they view ParkerVision as much more than a Wi Fi product. They view us as a real technology company. And, I think that gets them even more excited about doing business with us.
Peter Conrad: Well, and I, I ‑ certainly, I appreciate that that angle, and, and, the need to have a system understanding. Doesn't it, at some point, become a hindrance, though, if you, you know, can be viewed as a competitor, and, if indeed, you are successful in your endeavors there?
Jeff Parker: And, and, that's absolutely
why we should continue to, you know, to assess that position, you know, every,
you know ‑ frequently. And, and, we will definitely do that.
And, you know, it's ‑ we could be definitely in a worse place than to have large influential customers telling us that they'd love to embrace everything we can provide them ‑ that they don't want to compete against us on the shelf.
Peter Conrad: Right.
Jeff Parker: That could result in two
things. You could have the result of us saying ‑ Great. You take that
category and run forward with it. And, all we want you to do is to put us in
the lion's share of what you build. And, we could say ‑Well, we won't be
in that product category. Or, we could say ‑ Hey, let's just stay in
products that are some of the more emerging and niche‑y products that
continue to keep us visible to consumers. And, we continue to learn and we
don't have to spend a lot of money doing that. They may have a lot of value.
The other thing about the, the power amplifier that I'll mention that I think is very interesting is ‑ we can take that product and do with it the same thing we're hoping the OEMs do which is to profit and enlist the products and improve them pretty quick.
So, for ParkerVision to go to ODMs and say ‑hey, you know, we want to take that media there and make it work the way it should is a much lower hurdle to do than to design, I think, from scratch. So, we can, we can leverage our own cooking in certain niche applications, if we so desire.
But, I understand what you're asking and I, as an investor myself, watched Qualcomm get into the handset business and get out of the handset business.
Peter Conrad: Yeah.
Jeff Parker: So, who knows? We'll see.
Peter Conrad: Exactly. And, and, you're ‑ you know, I think you'll probably agree, you're not exactly flush with resources at this point.
Jeff Parker: You know, nobody ever is, you know. I appreciate that.
Peter Conrad: All right. Thank you.
Jeff Parker: Thanks, Peter.
Ann Marie: Once again, ladies and gentlemen ‑ as a reminder, if you wish to ask a question, the command is *One. And, your next person comes from Barry Rugger of ETE. Please proceed.
Barry Rugger: Hi, Jeff. How are you?
Jeff Parker: Fine. Thank you.
Barry Rugger: I'll jump in with the gratuitous plug on the Single Max product line. We use it and it works wonderfully.
Jeff Parker: Well, thank you. I appreciate that. I always love to hear that.
Barry Rugger: A lot of questions have been answered ‑ but, when you think about the availability of the product of, like, Q2. What, what is the capacity RAM that's available to you? You're targeting some fairly high volume products and if this works as well as we, as, as the Single Max works and, and, designers put it into place ‑ it's clear you're going to use some pretty significant capacity levels, too.
Jeff Parker: Well, I think that the way
that's going to go is ‑ when we get serious customers who have real
volume, it's going to be a negotiation with three parties. It's going to be
ourselves, it's going to be our customer and it's going to be our fab. As an
example, in our TI relationship, right in that relationship there's an
agreement that as we need to queue capacity that they'll come to the table in
good faith and they'll help do that with us as they would for their own
customers. In any fab relationship we're going to have we're going to need to
do that because we don't control the manufacturing because we don't own a fab.
I don't think that's any different really than any fabless semiconductor company would do. Which is you get the fab involved in the dialogue with the customer at the appropriate time. Now, as soon as we see buying signals that's the appropriate time.
Barry Rugger: OK. One more question just related to the current product line on the prior question. You've kind of intimated in the past that your current products are basically out there to try to prove technology and how it works in the marketplace and get it introduced to the consumers and even the industry supply chain. Do you plan on doing that with your power amps in your general business going forward?
Jeff Parker: Well, we will definitely take
the power amps and integrate them into the current product roadmap that we've
already laid out. I mean for us to deliver the best WiFi products starting with
G which we'll start fielding in the second quarter and then improvements to
even those G products later in the year and N products early next year. Our
power amplifiers makes all the things we want to give people easier, much
easier. So we'll definitely eat our own cooking there.
Would we go off and go into completely new product categories that we have no plans to do with this power amplifier product? My expectation is that we're going to find a ton of interest in the power amplifier with OEMs and ODMs and that we're going to be so busy helping them design some of their products that that's where we're going to be focused. So, yes, we'll use them in the products we've already got planned in those product categories. Don't think that we're going to probably look at changing the course of the finished goods business into perhaps completely new categories just because we have the power amp. Let's go get the OEMs to start embracing this and work that wonderful leverage point financially as a fabless semi company.
Barry Rugger: Great. Thanks for answering the question. Good luck.
Jeff Parker: Thanks.
Ann Marie: And your next question comes from George Walker of Wachovia Securities. Please proceed.
George: Hi, Jeff. This is Mack.
Jeff Parker: Hi, Mack. How are you?
George Walker: Good.
Jeff Parker: Good.
George Walker: My question doesn't relate to today's announcement specifically so much as over the last five or six years you've had many important announcements with today's by far the most important. During this entire time we've never had any mention ever in the Wall Street Journal, except for a little quip on PVGV one time. Can you tell me what's being done to change this?
Jeff Parker: Yes, I can. We have engaged a PR firm now that I think will be a very great relationship for the company. This is a new relationship and one that I think the company is primed for and I think will be a lot of fun to work with and very effective. Just today, by the way, we got a call from that very journal, and I hope you'll see us mentioned there tomorrow. So, we'll see.
George Walker: OK.
Jeff Parker: Mack, I will tell I have never been more confident or comfortable in sitting down with mainstream press and explain to them the importance of what we're doing and why it's going to be successful. So I'm welcoming those opportunities with open arms and aggressively pursuing them.
George Walker: Thank you.
Jeff Parker: Thanks.
Ann Marie: And if there are no further questions at this time I'd like to turn our presentation back to Mr. Parker for any closing remarks.
Jeff Parker: OK. Well, folks appreciate
your time and your interest and the great support that we get from many of you.
I know many of you have been shareholders for multiple years now and we are
grateful to that. We hope that we will continue to earn your trust and respect
and support and that the next coming two, four and six quarters will continue
to get ever more exciting for ParkerVision as we can demonstrate that we turn
our enthusiasm to the technology and the products we announced today into
designed ones and into real revenue.
So have a great weekend and thank you again so much for participating. Bye‑bye.
Ann Marie: Thanks for your participation in today's conference. This does conclude the presentation. You may now disconnect.